LOS ANGELES – If it wasn't evident during the Rams' preparation this week, head coach Sean McVay offered a strong, clear hint of how much they would be counting on RB Todd Gurley II just before kickoff.
"Coach told me like 10 minutes before the game, and I was like, 'Alright, time to get right,'" Gurley said. "He said we were going to pound the rock and be ready."
Los Angeles did, and he was.
Gurley accounted for nearly half of the Rams' 267 total yards of offense in their 17-7 win over the Bears at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, finishing with 25 carries for 97 yards and one touchdown, plus three receptions for 36 yards. He also surpassed 5,000 career rushing yards with his performance Sunday night.
The former Georgia star's 133 yards from scrimmage set a new season-high, surpassing the 101 that he accumulated against the Panthers in the season-opener. He had 94 of them by halftime against the Bears, and behind a makeshift offensive line, no less, that lost its starting center for the season and starting right tackle for one, if not two weeks, during last week's loss to the Steelers.
"It's something that, you know us, we've remained confident that that's who he is and what he can do," Rams LT Andrew Whitworth said. "Like I've said before, it was going to be finding this line and this team's identity and how we can run the football. It may not be last year's identity, it may not be the year before's identity, and finding a way that we can put Todd in great situations and opportunities to let him show why he's so good. We did that in this game and he continued to show it."
Gurley's one-yard touchdown run gave the Rams a 10-0 lead with just over three and a half minutes until halftime, a scoring opportunity set up by QB Jared Goff's 51-yard completion to Cooper Kupp.
Like McVay, Goff knew this would be the type of game that Los Angeles' offense would have to count on Gurley.
"The way he was moving the ball and the way he was moving, it worked," Goff said. "It worked really well."
McVay said what he loved most about Gurley's performance is how he didn't flinch after the first carry and made some tough, physical runs in addition to his catches out of the backfield.
In turn, Gurley authored a performance that reminded Rams fans of the type of all-purpose back he's been for them before.
"I guess I felt like the old Todd, but it was cool," Gurley said. "I'm just happy I was able to go out there and take advantage of my opportunities."